Social media is a serious challenge for physicians. As both doctors and patients exchange thoughts and stories on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, this opens a portal to risky consequences, including:
● Excess: People tend to lose normal inhibitions online and end up saying things they would never say in person. Once said, it is no longer yours to control, and can be legally used against you.
● Who is on the other side: When sending emails and texts, one has no idea who can access them.
● State lines: Recommendations you offer online can be passed on to other states. You can be charged with practicing without a license, if you are not licensed in those states.
● Staff: A physician is responsible for his/her staff’s actions. If a staff member posts a photo or comment that violates the law, the physician will be the one who will be disciplined.
● Becoming too friendly with patients: Physicians who share too much personal information with patients online are basically allowing patients to get personally closer to them, which is outside of professional conduct.
Q35 A multispecialty physician group hired a new graduate, who is well liked by patients and staff alike, and her clinical care is excellent. A senior physician in the group discovers the new physician’s social media page contains negative remarks about obese patients and non-compliant patients without naming any names. She also has many photos at parties, drinking alcohol, and behaving unprofessionally.What is the most appropriate course of action? A-Advise the most senior physician in the group about the post
B-Comment on social media about colleague’s unprofessional conduct
C-Meet the colleague, discuss the inappropriate content and urge her to remove it.
D-No action is required